And-Ones: Kobe, Draft, Hard Cap, Datome

Kobe Bryant thought for a moment after he found out he’d torn his rotator cuff that he might be done with the game, but he insisted he’s never seriously considered not playing next season, as he told reporters Tuesday, including Baxter Holmes of Bryant left open the possibility that he’ll play beyond 2015/16, the last year of his contract with the Lakers, and he added that he probably won’t decide whether to play in 2016/17 until next season is through, as Holmes notes. Here’s more from around the league:

  • Prominent agent Arn Tellem, in a piece for Grantland, argues that teams have begun to regard the back end of the draft’s second round as less about finding the best available player and more about acquiring the rights to prospects willing to play overseas. Among Tellem’s proposals is to move to a system of draft-eligibility similar to baseball’s in which all players would be automatically eligible at age 18. Tellem would also like to see a rule that would require teams to tender guaranteed minimum-salary offers to retain the rights to second-round picks, though that salary would be cut in half if the draftee instead spends the season playing in the D-League. His ideas likely have an influential audience, since Tellem’s Wasserman agency has close ties to Adam Silver and D-League president Malcolm Turner, notes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter links).
  • Silver, meanwhile, tells Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune that he continues to support a harder salary cap in the wake of the league’s proposal for one in the last round of collective bargaining in 2011, arguing that it would create more parity.
  • The Celtics appear lukewarm about soon-to-be free agent Gigi Datome, and while he told Italian media that he’d like to receive more offers from NBA teams than he does from overseas, clubs from Spain, Russia and Turkey are ready with proposals, sources tell Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia.

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